Since the end of the 19th century, painting has gone through a repeated cycle of death and rebirth in the face of artistic innovations such as photography, conceptual art, installation, and digital-imaging technologies.
At each of these challenges, artists have explored alternative ways of making a “painting” that go beyond the application of paint to a canvas using a brush by diversifying the components of its production and presentation. This exhibition highlights the most recent growth in painting, examining key transformations in the practice since the 1970s. Pushing the boundaries of its definition, the artists whose works are on view have deconstructed and reinvented what a painting is and what it can be. While some have maintained a commitment to traditional materials, others have expanded the genre beyond its limits to take the form of video projections, a pile of advertising posters, altered book covers, and even vintage chairs hung side-by-side on the wall. Through their varied investigations into the history, present, and future of painting, these artists acknowledge and often exaggerate its contradictions to proclaim that painting still is, and will likely remain, very much alive.
—ANNA STOTHART, Assistant Curator
Finding Square, 2011
Acrylic on maple, 108 x 108 x 1 inches
Gift of Jodi and Hal Hess
Photo: John Kennard